Thoughts on translating poetry: one poet/translator's take

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:24
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Expressing the meaning Apr 25

Feeling the meaning of the poem in its original language, sensing its emotions can help to "translate" it into the target language(s).

Poetry was written by a creative mind and can, therefore, only be "translated" by a creative mind.


Lisa Jane
Local time: 05:24
Italian to English
+ ...
an almost impossible but satisfying task May 1

A translator of poetry has before them an almost impossible task: they must try to render the idea (assuming they've understood it!) the poet originally had and then transcribed into a form which was meticulously construed around it (usually) in their own native language.
They must recreate that artfully expressed idea but the tool with which it was originally crafted has changed and sometimes will chisel away at the original, and sometimes will add to it. In all this transformation the overall tone, and often the rhythm, should still be recognizable.
The satisfaction gained from attempting, and hopefully managing, to successfully translate poetry is directly proportionate to the difficulty of the task in hand!

André Lisboa

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Thoughts on translating poetry: one poet/translator's take

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